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Chapter 748.   Network searches


Sometimes you cannot find what you need within the available documentation, you should therefore contact the discussion groups of Usenet with special help requests. Sometimes you cannot find a package within the GNU/Linux distribution, you should therefore contact again a group, hoping that somebody is prepared to answer.

The network offers tools and services that you should know and use before attempting the last chance of 'global' requests.

748.1   Web searches

The generic search engine searches, allow to find published pages that contain a specific combination of words, entered as a search string. This type of search usually allows to find information that is not very recent because it must have been catalogued by the search engines before being available.

The available search engines are different and usually it is convenient to concentrate on a couple of them, by studying the correct syntax for the search expressions. Generally you should know how to request the presence of two words or the presence of some words together with the absence of other ones.

The picture 748.1 shows a part of the introductory page of the Google service, <>, which contains what is necessary to enter a search request.

Picture 748.1. Form for the entry of a search expression in the Google service.


If we assume to look for information on the masterisation of CD-R with GNU/Linux, you could enter an expression for the search of both the word Linux and the word CD-R. If you do this with Google, you can use the expression Linux CD-R, without adding special operators (symbols). The picture 748.2 shows the result of this search.

Picture 748.2. Result of a search.


748.2   Searches in the discussion groups

The discussion groups are often the target of questions and answers of various type, especially many simple ones produced by beginners. When there is a problem that we would like to propose to a discussion group, in most cases somebody else has already requested the same question. For this reason, instead of adding to the network other duplicate questions, it is better start with a search of the Usenet groups for the problem subject and to chack if there is already an answer to what you would like to ask.

Surely this is not simple and for this reason some help is provided by search engines similar to the network ones, but specialised in the Usenet groups. The picture 748.3 shows one part of an introduction page for the service offered by Google, <>, that contains what is necessary to enter a search expression.

Picture 748.3. Form for the entry of a search expression into the service offered by Google.


Also in this case we assume to look for information on the masterization of CD-R with GNU/Linux; as before we want to concentrate on the keywords Linux and CD-R. When Google is used, it is possible to simply enter the expression Linux CD-R without any need of special additional operators. The picture 748.4 shows the result of the search.

Picture 748.4. Result of a search.


Of course, it is possible to read both the messages with the request and those with the answers; this is what we wished.

748.3   Searches in the electronic mail lists

The electronic mail lists, or more simply 'lists', are discussion groups whose member apply to receive regular messages by electronic mail. There is no service to inquire these messages, because there is not any standard publication.

Some of these lists are automatically published as HTML pages on the hypertextual network (web). When this happens, the news can probably be reached by using normal search engines.

748.4   References

Appunti di informatica libera 2006.01.01 --- Copyright © 2000-2006 Daniele Giacomini -- <daniele (ad) swlibero·org>, <daniele·giacomini (ad) poste·it>

1) Translation last update on 2003.09.11 from Mario Pesce <mario (ad) datamission·co·uk>.

It should be possible to link to this page also with the name network_searches.htm

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